Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

a start

After last night and then today's tally of 19 kids killed in their elementary school in Texas just a week after the Buffalo shootings, I look back at a moment from an ordinary part of the day and it looks absurd and impossible. 

Can puppies really be that fuzzy? Do we really get to take a walk like the world isn't ending?

Saturday, May 21, 2022

quiet

I started working in the "secret garden" this week. Clearly, I have lots left to tidy, trim, etc... but I went ahead and planted stuff because I knew it would make me happy. And I took a picture, because who knows how long things will last--deer ate the lilacs, hostas, and hydrangeas down to their stalks last year.  

I started this garden in 2020 for Nu, but like many other things, I seem to be the one holding on to something after the kid(s) seems to have lost interest. Nu was the best gardening companion, I hope this'll be something he's interested in again when summer break starts. In the meantime, I'm lucky that Scout and Huck will keep me company for hours while I garden.

Today--it's just the puppies and me at home. Nu is off at a sleepover and Big A is at work. A glimpse of times to come? I suppose. 

[I will note that not having to feed a growing child with allergies or a fussy spouse is very liberating in terms of food choices. I made such a delicious spicy mango salad with peanuts for my dinner.]

Friday, May 20, 2022

book/talk

Book club today. Because we're in the midst of a Covid spike, everyone took a test before they came. 

We'd read Pachinko (2017 and ancient, I know), but someone had liked it a lot. We were fairly divided on it, but some interesting discussion as always. 

One of the things I love about about book club is how even reading the book on my own becomes communal, because I found myself wondering how certain members would react to this or that. 

I hosted this month, and I'd been excited to research a Korean menu--I went with (three kinds of) mandu, (three flavors of) jumeokbap, and an assortment of mochi. I made the jumeokbap rice balls from scratch, found the mochi readymade, and the mandu dumplings semi-prepped at the asian grocery store. It all came together pretty easily--I even had tons of time to putter around in the garden, take a long soak, and read before people showed up.

Scout and Huck loved all the extra attention, Nu took off with his cell phone to practice "self-care" in his room, reemerging for dinner, a show, cuddles, and clean up after everyone had left.

Pic: The people of book club. I'm in this picture (albeit happily blending into the shadows like a ninja). 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

still

Just keeping this Mary Oliver quote--that KV made into a card I'm now using as a bookmark--as my mantra. 

"Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still
and learning to be/astonished."

Nu said the the other day that I do way too much and that I should be doing less. After a heartbeat Nu said that they feel stressed because of me. Taking that in was difficult, because in my mind I'm doing stuff to make it easier for the people in my life.

Pic: KV's card/bookmark with a Mary Oliver quote. I'm currently reading Natalie Haynes' A Thousand Ships. I'm a sucker for this Greek epic/mythology genre, what do you want me to say? I loved, loved Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls just a couple of months ago, and was happy to discover the Haynes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

recuperation update

It was a *lovely* day outside and I worked in the garden with Scout and Huckie all morning. At (looking kind of sickly in the slope of his shoulders here) came outside to read for a bit and I stayed out longer than I would have because it felt so nice to have those three around me.

Have to say Big A and Nu have been arbitrary and weird about At's Covid. Nu didn't want to eat in the same room (he'd have been over 8-10 feet away) and Big A thought At shouldn't share a bathroom with anyone (although we've been at airports and work and stuff).  

Hmm. They've also said I was "not taking it seriously enough" and must be "wrongly feeling invincible" although I thought I was being careful in masking with a K-95 any time I was in his room. My family is weird is all I can say.

Later in the day, At took a negative Covid test and took off for his apartment since he "has" to be at work tomorrow. His work didn't require a test; I did. 

Anyway--perhaps it was the gardening and outside time that helped, because I have the same things hanging over me, but I was way less flustered today.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

deeply rooted


kindness is a common form of love
the drip of its tap like heartbeat
its tempo rowing in place
I can look down at myself 
how I've thought I knew it all-- 
now I fit in whatever comes my way  

sifting the hard cuts with a soft care 
for moments turn meaningless
without my memories
like spring soil I keep
holding on, I hold nothing back 
honestly, all I've taken is inside myself

Monday, May 09, 2022

Mother's Day Blues

I have mixed feelings about Mother's Day. For one thing, I did not grow up with this holiday although it is now widely celebrated in India too. And then, I always think the apostrophe should go over the plural version--it feels more inclusive and more in keeping with the socialist and anti-war origins of the day. And on top of it all, there's knowing that Mother's Day can be a day of mourning for so many.  

And it hasn't always been happy for me.

At is 23--and I don't think all 23 of my Mother's Days have been happy ones. All the recent ones have been, but it took a while to get there. It was fine when the kids were younger--elementary school teachers (bless them!) made sure the kids had a card to give me on Mother's Day. I think they would talk about what to do on Mother's Day, so the kids would pick flowers sometimes, and they always had that card they made in class to produce with such a proud flourish. There were some gems in those early days: At saying he loves me because I "make refreshing drinks;" Nu saying they love me because I gave them "their blood and bones." 🤣 Both of those statements are still in regular rotation over here. 

But when the kids were too young to do stuff themselves, Big A was very hands off. I remember asking him to help the kids plan and him saying "but you're not my mother"--which I thought was missing the point. On top of that, I frequently have to to be the one reminding him to call/plan for his mom too. As this long-ago post references, I wallowed in self-pity because I loved mothering and wanted Mother's Day to be special--but it was mostly Hallmark media telling me what it ought to be, and I could see it not happening in my life.

But at some point in the last ten years or so, I realized that I did not want breakfast in bed (I'm not a breakfast person at all although I make the kids breakfast every day) or presents (I already have too much stuff)--what I really want is some meaningful time with the kids doing something together. So in more recent years, I've just said what I'd like for us to be doing: some years it's been yoga and spa, some years it has been gardening. And all of it has made me very happy. And although I do not need presents, the kids have started giving me the sweetest, most meaningful things--last year they gave me a water backpack for hiking, and this year they gave me a toddler Ganesh.

Pic: This year's amazing card and present. I plan to use the card as a bookmark in my planner; the toddler Ganesha will sit on my reading table.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

on Mother's Day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Woke up to a bonus kid (Nu had had a sleepover). Over breakfast, we put together a vase of flowers for the sleepover kid to take home to their mom from all the flowers people had brought to the party yesterday. Spent the rest of the morning at UU. It was nice to see the small bidding war over my UU auction item ("An Evening in India"), then some fun at the food truck, and back home to read in the sun. 

Over lunch, Big A and I watched the final episode of Mrs. America and the epilogue summarizing the slow death of the ERA made me sob. This is my THIRD time watching the mini series (I previously watched it with Nu and At separately), but this week felt "too soon" after the SCOTUS Roe opinion leak.

At came by after his shift, and he looked so tired, I didn't have the heart to ask the kids to help with the garden plots like they usually do. Instead, we took a small walk before settling in to dinner where all of us just lingered at the table forever talking and admiring their card and present. The kids usually pick me dandelions for Mother's Day (as a cutesy reminder of how they used to pick them for me when they were toddlers), but we have none in our yard. We don't use pesticides, so I suppose they're delayed this year... like so many things... like most of us. 

Pic: Me and the kids outside; Huckie is airborne in excitement.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

"celebrate good times, come on"

 

I felt like I did get something done today--CF's retirement party. I love when you can prep for two hours and have four+ hours of fun--that ratio seems very fair. 

Looking forward to having all the kids around for Mother's Day tomorrow!

Thursday, May 05, 2022

moment of zen


Both our cherry trees are blossoming and I wanted to get a picture with the fam under them--like I usually do.

As it turns out, Big A is the only one dutifully posing for me this year.

If he's smiling somewhat smugly in this picture, it's probably because he's thinking of what he said to me this afternoon. He asked me where I'd been and then answered his own question. "Most people," (he said) "would assume you'd had some torrid affair because your hair's all messy and you look glassy-eyed and blissed out, but I'm going to guess you got a massage." 

He was right.



 

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

a Birthday Baby



So happy to celebrate At's 23rd! He'd celebrated yesterday with friends, and today was our turn.

I woke up a 4 am, landed in MI around noon, napped in the car after Big A picked me up, cooked till 4 pm (biriyani and sides)  while Big A made the cupcakes (red velvet) and Nu made a birthday card (My Little Pony) and wrapped presents, and then... At was here!

No big presents this year, but we got him some pre-revolution short story collections (Chekov, Gorky, Gogol, and Tolstoy) and a small bookshelf Big A and I found for his growing library. 

Scout and Huck were delirious with happiness (and so were we).

Friday, April 29, 2022

maybe like the earth



ask me what makes a good day
as the heart hammers away
nailing today's sum of green

applauding how the light falls
all the way to the ground
exploding into green joy 

I know I too am someone
a body not just an accident 
 pronouns greening like weeds

everywhere like my prepositions
across and between and within
--little words louder than we think
------------------------------------------------------


Pic: Scout posing (as awkwardly as one of the human kids) by the cherry blossom trees.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

"thank you for being a friend"

I started this random Tuesday with the present JL left on the porch for me, a poem JG sent via email, talked with the women's community circle after lunch, and ended it with DV who came over to drink tea and talk after Nu headed off to bed after dinner... I'm feeling really blessed in women friends, right now.

Apropos of all this, I love the title of the book JL gave me--Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship. It seems to be a sociologist's happy validation of female friendships from besties and cliques to squads and posses. 

For a while now, I've expected my elderly years to be lived in the communal company of women. Whether that's from watching too much Golden Girls (or more recently Grace and Frankie), growing up in all-girls "convent" schools, or radical feminist envisioning, I don't know... yet.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

my kind of therapy


"For young people experiencing grief, he suggests Bridge to Terabithia, a novel about two children who create a magical land that allows them to escape a personal tragedy. For people dealing with indecision, he recommends “Eveline,” a short story by James Joyce about a young woman who plans to leave Dublin with her lover and is forced to decide whether to abandon her family. Cheu prompts clients by asking them, “If you were Eveline, what would you do?” Turning the question on the reader, he says, uses the story to ease them into sharing more about themselves. “That is how you allow the discussion to move away from a very personal direct confrontation to an imaginary alternative,” he says, “which allows them to imagine a different life for themselves.” Literature essentially helps clients be seen without being exposed."

Pic: Scout giving us high-fives for the week that was. (I think Big A and I may have taught our baby a new trick!)




Monday, April 18, 2022

Monday dun-day

Yes, it's still pretty dun and uninteresting out, and it even snowed all day today although it didn't stick... but the hellebores (lenten roses) are coming up in a nice reminder that even in Michigan, spring is here. 

Theres a lot of birdsong so it sounds like spring and it even smells like spring.

Wow, I sound like I'm trying to convince myself. 🙃  

Also that's Huck in the picture, Scout stayed by my side. I hope we get to do this again this spring.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

the sun rises

A sunny Easter day. It started with a meaningful and mindful heart-to-heart with Nu, and it got better when we got to sit and sing together at UU. Big A returned; At stopped by for dinner (the puppies and I got really excited).

We had our usual Easter egg hunt in the backyard with rhyming clues. (I rhymed "elm that fell" with "morel"--and they didn't get that one easily--oh, well.) Then a very early dinner together, and a very short round of Coup.  I even got a nice walk-and-talk with At before sending him off. Tried to watch Severance, which people seem to love, with Big A but didn't make it past the 20-minute mark. 

I'm grateful for the quiet, quality time with loved ones this weekend.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

lunar halo

 I'm taking this hazy lunar halo to bed with me. A long day: long hike, long hours in the garden prepping, long international phone calls with my mom and a friend. 

But it's nearly 3:00 am, so I'm not surprised I don't have a lot of thoughts to string together.

Sad about Covid-related drama nixing our Passover Seder with J and M this evening; but "next year"--as they say.

Friday, April 15, 2022

mixed up


A form rejection and also a publication in a special place (Madras Courier); a dear colleague's retirement gauntlet and also a dear friend's new baby's babbles; my sister's envy-producing trip to Chennai and also her unenviable task of taking my dad to visit his brothers (plural!) who are very sick; a lovely day with Nu at work (a run, lunch, long commutes) and also a silly fall (as far as I can tell from collecting my things for a meeting) that gave me a bruise spanning the entire inside of my arm.

This week brought me so many mixed feelings.

Pic: The amaryllis kit that AK gave me for Christmas bloomed spectacularly--three giant blooms and one waiting in the wings.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

in a season of dependence

over here, I'm trying to find the language we lost 
we're the canoe and and I slipped the oars
while asking questions
we're so small

strangeness crawls up my arms, nestles by my ears
little baby bugs overflowing their home 
telling me their stories
about being better

because we cannot know what we do not know
and we're flooded already with memories
we imagine how it will be 
without us 

that canoe thawed free from direction and labor
swept up in the recovery of unknowing
finding new neighbors
in sea and storm

Monday, April 11, 2022

tree fellers and friends

I was as excited as a toddler when I saw this little tree feller in the backyard. We've had four trees come down this last winter and I haven't been able to plan any outdoor events because it looked and felt inhospitable (and unsafe) with tree limbs everywhere. 

My favorite part of this picture is that when the driver saw me--with my phone out and dramatically miming taking a picture and asking if it would be ok--he very kindly paused so I could take one. As I mentioned to the kids in family chat--this is way more than they ever do for me. And the little monsters... had the gall to go "ha-ha" on that comment. 

L is back from her month-long trip, so I got a long walk with her this morning to catch up and it made me realize yes--lots of things have changed in a month: I'm more hopeful for Nu; I know what At's plans for the year are; I'm getting used to Big A's work-related absences. A lot of sadness with each of those situations, but growing acceptance too.

And then while the rest of the world was busy doing Monday things, I treated myself to a movie with KB. At her request we saw Everything Everywhere All At Once--and overall, it was clever and compassionate and I love the idea of an older woman cast as a superhero... still, the middle section and its fight scenes felt overwhelming to me. 

after this ending another ending

after this ending another ending we only want so little we're given even less  after this ending another ending plans flaking hope escap...